Literary Nonfiction. Women's Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Music. The burgeoning lesbian and feminist movements of the '70s and '80s created an impetus to form more independent and equitable social and cultural institutions—bookstores, publishers, health clinics, and more—to support the unprecedented surge in women's arts of all kinds. Olivia Records was at the forefront of these models, not only recording and distributing women's music but also creating important new social spaces for previously isolated women and lesbians through concerts and festivals. Ginny Z Berson, one of Olivia's founding members and visionaries, kept copious records during those heady days—days also fraught with contradictions, conflicts, and economic pitfalls. With great honesty, Berson offers her personal take on what those times were like, revisiting the excitement and the hardships of creating a fair and equitable lesbian-feminist business model—one that had no precedent.
Ginny Z Berson is a longtime political activist driven by a longing for justice. She was a member of The Furies—a radical lesbian feminist separatist collective in Washington, DC. They produced a mostly monthly newspaper, The Furies, that was distributed nationally and had a significant impact on women's groups all over the US. After The Furies broke up, Ginny pulled together a group of women in DC to begin visioning and planning what would become Olivia Records, the national women's record company. She and her partner, the musician Meg Christian, were the initial driving force getting Olivia off the ground. After leaving Olivia in 1980, Ginny worked for many years in community radio—at KPFA-FM, Pacifica Radio, and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. She now works as Director of Outreach for World Trust Educational Services, an anti- racist educational organization. She also does racial equity work in her neighborhood as part of Neighbors for Racial Justice.Author City: OAKLAND, CA USA